LIONS SERIES RATINGS: Hogg has tough time while while Itoje supreme

LIONS SERIES RATINGS: Stuart Hogg has a tough time in South Africa while Maro Itoje can expect to be back at the heart of the 2025 team after his supreme performances

  • The Lions’ 2020 Tour ended in defeat with South Africa winning the series 2-1
  • Maro Itoje was a highlight despite the loss, with a consistently starring role 
  • Meanwhile Stuart Hogg struggled, getting dropped after just the second game 
  • Finn Russell also dazzled despite injuries, while Owen Farrell was anonymous 

The British and Irish Lions are flying home empty handed after losing the Springboks decider and losing their South Africa series 2-1.   

While the trip ended in disappointment, Warren Gatland’s side has some bright sparks to be proud of, with Maro Itoje and Finn Russell representing hope for the future.  

After a gruelling two months in South Africa, Sportsmail’s Will Kelleher rates the performances of each squad member. 

The British and Irish Lions’ South Africa tour ended in disappointment as the hosts won 

Some selections paid off, but others did not. His first defeat as Lions boss will be tinged with regrets about not attacking South Africa enough. 

Liam Williams 6

Only started one Test and butchered huge chance to put Adams away. Not always secure under high balls.

Stuart Hogg 5

Tough tour for the Scotland captain, who was dropped after a poor second Test under an aerial assault.

Stuart Hogg had a difficult time on the Tour as Warren Gatland dropped him after test two 

Anthony Watson 6

Part of underused back three who hardly saw the ball. Dropped with Hogg.

Duhan van der Merwe 5

Glimpses of defence-busting talent in the final game but saw little ball out wide and did not look for it enough.

Josh Adams 6

Brought in for decider after eight tries in five games. Should have played earlier.

Elliot Daly 5

Played all but one game, but always caught between positions. Didn’t do enough at centre to convince.

Chris Harris 6

Came into second Test as part of revolving-door midfield selection. Couldn’t release those outside.

Robbie Henshaw 8

Shining light in the backline, carrying strongly into heavy traffic. One whose stock has risen.

Robbie Henshaw flies home with a much enhanced reputation after a solid time in the backline

Bundee Aki 6.5

One Test but made little yardage through contact. Tour hero off the field, keeping spirits high.

Dan Biggar 6.5

Started all three Tests but hampered by one-dimensional game plan of kicking up and unders.

Owen Farrell 5

A bit part in the first two Tests, then left out entirely.

Finn Russell 8

Attacking genius denied more time to conjure by injury. Dazzled in decider, albeit too little too late.

Finn Russell was a creative spark to light up some of the Lions performances at the series 

Ali Price 7

Usurped Murray twice to start Tests. Couple of panicky moments.

Conor Murray 6

Made captain, then lost his place after showing little speed of thought or deed.

Wyn Jones 7

Would have started first Test but for injury. Shored up scrum before hurting his back in the decider. Shame.

Mako Vunipola 7

Strong bench impact in first Test, but overawed in the final two. Warhorse and great tourist.

Rory Sutherland 5

Came in late for Wyn Jones and struggled in set piece against fearsome pack.

Tadhg Furlong 7.5

Titan at tighthead and has now started six Lions Tests in a row. Best No 3 by a distance.

Kyle Sinckler 7

Not the standout impact he would have wanted off the bench. Can be a game changer, but it hasn’t been seen of late.

Kyle Sinckler is known as a potential game-changer but couldn’t bring that to South Africa

Luke Cowan-Dickie 7

Try in first Test and storming carrier, but lineout throwing must improve.

Ken Owens 7

Signed off with the first Welsh hooker try for the tourists since 1955. Stalwart and leader.

Maro Itoje 8.5

Man of the series and will be back as a mainstay of the next tour. Supreme in the Tests.

Maro Itoje is certain to be carrying England and the Lions forward until 2025 with his talent 

Alun Wyn Jones (c) 8

In the pantheon, even before Lazarus comeback. Heartbroken not to see out the final throes.

Courtney Lawes 8

England must keep him charged up for 2023. The original ‘37th man’ became one of the first names on the team sheet.

Adam Beard 7

Performed well in the warm-ups as a maul disrupter. One for the future for Wales and the Lions.

Tadhg Beirne 5

Hardly any game time in the Tests, when he could have been a key man. Dynamism underused.

Tom Curry 6

Unusually quiet and unfortunate mistakes crept into his game. Could still be captain next time.

Tom Curry couldn’t make himself stand out in South Africa but should be key in the next Tour

Hamish Watson 5

Could not find a way past Curry to play more. The Scot deserved his place but made little impact.

Jack Conan 6.5

Strong first Test but had few standout moments.

Taulupe Faletau 5

Barely played, which was a surprise after Six Nations form. Could have made up part of a more attacking blueprint.

Sam Simmonds 5

Disappointing that he did not translate his Exeter form to this stage. Intriguing to see what it means for England hopes. 

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